Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dude I got a New Dell

After owning one for about 6 years I decided to recycle my old Axim X5 for something a littler newer. So I decided to search the pages of Ebay to discern what was out there. I looked around and discovered there was a very nice Dell Axim X3i. You can read a review of it here. It has
# Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PC, including Pocket versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Windows Media Player and more
# Intel® XscaleTM Processor at 400MHz or 300MHz
# Brilliant 3.5-inch TFT 240x320 QVGA 65K Color Transflective LCD
# 64MB or 32MB Intel® StrataFlashTM ROM
# 1 Secure Digital IO Slot
# Consumer IrDA port
# 950mAh Li-Ion Removable Battery with integrated rechargeable Backup Battery
# Optional 1800mAh Li-Ion High Capacity Battery
# Built-in Microphone & Speaker
# Backlit Power Button / Indicator Light
# Optional integrated Wi-Fi 802.11b capability
# Weight: Axim X3i w/ standard battery: 140.4g (5 oz); Axim X3 w/standard battery: 136.5g (4.8 oz)
# Dimensions: Axim X3i: 122.4 x 14.9 x 77.2mm (4.82" x 0.6" x 3"); Axim X3: 117 x 14.9 x 77.2mm (4.6" x 0.6" x 3")
# Power Button, 4 Application Keys, 5-way Navigator Button, Scroll Dial, Wireless On/Off Button, Record Button, Headphone mini-jack
# USB Cradle with 2nd primary battery charging slot

What is impressive is the smaller and lighter size, in comparison to it's older brother the X5. As well, it has integrated WIFI which can be turned off and turned on so as to save battery life. As you may know, WiFi can be a battery drainer so it's a good feature to have.

The original news release is here.

As you can see, there's also a nice looking cradle for both syncing and recharging the battery.

The WiFi antenna is quite good and gives a good range for the needs of surfing the Net. What also makes it different from the X5 is there is only a SD card slot rather then an SD and CF card slot. With my X5, the CF slot was filled with a CF WiFi card, so it's no big one.

As for the Axim X5, Jeremy got it. He got the Axim, the WiFi card and a blank SD card. I hope he enjoys it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Photographs of a Winter Landscape

Took an hour to go out, do some skiing and take some photographs
Here's what is happening in Brantford.

The weather news was for a storm and as you can see by these two photographs, the forecast was correct.

Needless to say, it has meant the cancellation of church this morning and the postponing of the Christmas Cantata this afternoon.

What this also means is;

relax in the morning and

Cross Country Skiing in the Afternoon.

I'll bring my camera.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

LOLCAT Thursday

I am certain I had some serious topic for this blog. Something profound and moving. Then I went to the LOLcat site and saw this:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Cats dressed in bunny suits with that "if looks could kill" look. Truly this is why the Internet was created.

No serious, this is why the Internet was created.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A few thoughts for Wednesday

In the mail today was a new package from Canonical, it was the new CD's for Gutsy Gibbon. I went to gthe Shipti page and ordered some discs of the new OS. Now you know from previous blogs that I download the new distro around the time its available, so what would be the advantage of getting the CD's? There is a very good reason and that is it is a excellent backup.

By this I mean should I have an problems with Gutsy I can simply do an install using the discs. I had to do that very thing with Feisty a couple months after it came out. For some reason the computer started to act very badly- slowing down and generally not responding. I was having problems with both wireless and wired broadband, but I had ordered some discs. So it was simply a matter of installing straight off the CD and everything worked well. Of course by that I mean as good as Feisty was, personally there were a number of problems which have been addressed by Gutsy.

Plus there is the matter of the stickers that come with it, perhaps a few could end up on my bike, my older one that is.

I also finished watching Crankygeeks and this episode was quite interesting. First of all, I don't think at any time did John C. Dvorak give the plug for his blog. Now that has to be an absolute first since he plugs that address everywhere, just listen to a few episodes of TWIT to see what I mean. Also it featured an all geek girl cast, including everyone's favourite roving reporter from, Irina Slutsky. It was a lively show with the ladies going off on what was John's topics, but they added a new dimension to the show and it was very good. It is well worth a watch.

On the topic of crankygeeks; they are coming out with a t-shirt. I can't wait to get the news and information as to ordering said t-shirt. It will be a proud part of my collection.

Speaking of t-shirts:

If any one knows where to order this, please let me know.

I just went back and discovered that I have been using Ubuntu for nearly a year. I'll have to write a blog about my experience.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Living with Gutsy Gibbon

I've been living with Gutsy Gibbon, the latest Ubuntu release since the release of the beta in late September. It has been an interesting experience going through the experience of a beta release, the first thing I noticed was the last of introduction music. I wondered if Ubuntu was going to go silent, but when I downloaded the full version, the sounds have returned, so as the brown background.

On the 18th, I fired up and downloaded what was left of the upgrade. The problem with downloading on the day of release is all the servers get very busy and the download is a crawl. Fortunately with all the upgrades before, there was only a few files that were required to bring my OS to full release glory.

Now, what was my opinion. It is a delightful upgrade. A number of the problems with 7.04 are fixed.

Let me give the list of what I like:

I can use my Canon Printer. I have set up the Canon as the network printer and 7.10 found it and found the right printer. Now I can sit anywhere in the house and print any document I want printed. As well, when I plug in my HP Printer, it is found as well. I can make either one the default printer for this laptop.

An interesting feature is that at the first usage, it checked the battery and stated it was an older battery with limited time. The battery is almost 4 years old and is the NI type.

The problem I had with the microphone headset have been fixed. With Feisty, the mike did not work well at all. The problem was when I used Skype. I would try and it wouldn't work. In fact Feisty became very buggy in late June for some reason.

The search deskbar applet is a good feature. It allows you to more search engines then Google and allows you to search files for the same name. Couple this with the Tracher Search Tool nothing will get lost, ever.

True plug and play. I plugged in my camera and it was found. As well to unmount is straightforward and again, it is identified correctly.

My one drawback, and this is more the age of my laptop, I can't used any of the enhanced destop features or visual effects. I have seen them on the older desktop, but with the laptop, its not possible. Although this is more due to the fact the video is not supported or cannot support Linux. Still as I said, it's an older machine and it's one of the drawbacks I have learned to accept.

Wireless again is a breeze, simply plug in the wifi card and it connects.

The other features that are mentioned such as the quick change from one user to another is not a feature I will use since I'm the only one with this laptop.

F-Spot, the photo is not only a simple photo editing tool and it allows fast upload to flickr and a number of other photo hosting sites. It's a very nice feature of Ubuntu.

Pigdin, the multiple platform messenger tool. It is GAIM with a new name.

It has the latest Firefox and the Open Office Suite.

With all this, it's going to be a good six months and then 8.04 will be released and if it has more enhancements, it will be great. Of course the added feature of the next upgrade will be the long term support.

I'm going to upgrade until the machine can't take it any more.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Apple Trojan Means Mac Hunting Season Is Open

New Apple Trojan Means Mac Hunting Season Is Open

It was only a matter of time. So there is now a trojan that is Mac unique. To sum up, it goes this way, a person with a Mac want to watch a video, a box pops up and informs the person they have to download a special codec to watch. When they do that, a trojan is installed on their computer and their secure machine is now compromised.

As you read the article you will note that experts in the field argue whether or not this is an exploitation of a hole or exploits human weakness. May I suggest it doesn't matter, because trojans, malware are where its at when it comes to security. For the most part the classic virus is a thing of the past. The good days when you open up a email, or stick in a infected floppy and infect your computer is probably a thing of the past. I will not say there are no virii, because as long as a person can download the Virus Laboratory and make your own, it will always be the case.

However it is the trojan that has the potential of turning a computer into a zombie machine that becomes a means of pumping out spam and other nastiness is where it is.

One comment:
Unlike many Windows-based attacks, the Trojan doesn't exploit a hole in Apple's software, and it can't install itself. Instead, it relies on social engineering, tricking users into downloading the codec, and requiring that they type in the administrator password to install it.

This is true but consider this, it's got to start sometime. Once the hackers realize there is a vulnerability they will become more aggressive.

Now there is someone who disagrees with all this:
But Carl Howe, an Apple analyst at Blackfriars Communications, disputes the security researchers' theories. He thinks that OS X's Unix heritage makes Apple systems less vulnerable to attack than Windows-based platforms. He argues that even if hacking Macs hasn't been profitable in the past, attackers would have done it anyway if they'd been able -- just for the attention.

"I think the market-share thing has always been a myth," Howe said. "It's a good story to talk about."

It's a good thought but may I make a suggestion to this, I believe Apple has been able to enjoy it's hacker past for many years. After all Jobs and Woz were hackers, they were phone phreaks and all that good stuff, so it may have been an aura that surrounded Apple. "They were one of us", the hackers may have thought. While it's doubtful many hackers have a romantic view of the past, it may have been simple market share plus the cost of hardware. After all, to hack Windows, you needed a Windows computer and they price for a very good Windows machine is probably 1/2 that of Apple. But Apple Computers are coming down in price and their market share is growing. So if more hackers get their hands on Apple machines, they will begin to look around and try and find exploits. Once they start, they won't stop.

There's another reason, Apple is arrogant and complacent. While people are lauding Leopard, others are noticing there are problems. Is it the case Apple has a lot of irons in the fire. If you consider there has been the iPhone, newer and better iPods, all of which is taking time from developing secure software. As well, Apple has turned against the good hacker community, with their recent firmware upgrade which turned many iPhones into very expensive paper weights, some one is going to get angry and then figure out how to get back.

Remember, when Safari was installed on Windows, hackers had a field day. They know they can exploit the software, it will only be a matter of time.

Apple fan, get used to having Norton installed on your machine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apple now bigger than Big Brother : Good Morning Silicon Valley

Remember the Ad? Apple was the champion of freedom and choice in a world dominated by Big Blue, aka
IBM. The Corporate Entity known as IBM was stifling freedoms and forcing the world into the beige box of conformity.

Now we have this article from "God morning Silicon Valley", Apple is now bigger the IBM and this is the result

Apple, or perhaps we should consider calling them "Big White" has replace Big Brother with their brand of oppression. Now some may think, this is just another Anti-Apple Screed, think about this:

Apple has perfected the closed system. You to change your iMac, your iBook in anyway, you can, it's called 'buying a new one'. Yes everything is in one, try and put in a bigger hard drive. You want to mod, no way.

You want to hack your iPhone like you did the AppleTV, sure you can, and then Apple will screw you royally with a firmware update that won't simply remove all the hacks and third party apps, but stop it from working. Nice.

Oh and remember when you could install Linux on your iPod? Not any more.

Have a rumour? How about an inside tip? Want to post it on your blog? Expect a "Cease and Desist" letter from Steve Jobs.

What about IBM? They have embraced open source and Linux. As well, they have released Lotus Symphony, an open source Office Suite based upon Open Office. As well, this will be tied into their Lotus Notes platform with release 8.0. Again, another example of how the world is beginning to embrace Open Source while Big White remains closed behind walls of its own system.

1984 won't be like 1984?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Ontario General Election

Says it all.

The result was as to be expected, the Liberals won, the Conservatives lost and the NDP hung in there.

I heard the final speeches on election night and they were interesting. The first leader to speak was Dalton McGuinty, the once and present Premier. I thought this was odd since usually the winner waits until everyone has conceded the election before speaking. His speech was as exciting as he, in other words dull. In fact all he did was repeat what he has said over the past 28 days, with the exception of talking about his family.

John Tory was next and he gave words of congratulations to Dalton, to Kathleen Wynne and then said the usual stuff defeated politicians say. If I can translate: "we lost, it was my fault, let's get drunk". Okay so maybe not.

Howard Hampton spoke last and just kind of rambled on, talking about people he knew.

The dullest election, the Seinfeld election is now history. Meh.

Although let me rant, the sad part of the entire election was the inability of the electorate to support the referendum. People stayed with the status quo and I think part of the reason was a lack of information. I mean, what did we know about the difference? Practically little. I don't understand why this was not covered more and why information was not given prior to the election. This was not a campaign this was a practical constitutional change, one that required more thoughtful discussion and information.

As for the Green Party; so close, so very close. Next time, for sure.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma!

Don't let the events of Burma disappear from the collective radar of North America. What's more important, the democratic struggle of an oppressed people, or the custody problems of Britney Spears?

Some of the News today:

Junta steps up Propaganda

More Arrests

Amnesty International

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Before complete and total election ennui set in, I decided to go and register at the nearest Elections Ontario office. Since we had just moved to Brantford, we needed to get our names on the list of electors. While registering it was also advanced poll day, so kill two birds with one stone sort of thing.

While this must be going down in history as the dullest election ever, I mean my mail box is not even filled with pamphlets, it is still important to vote. If for no other reason, vote in the Referendum. It's a decision that could alter the way we vote by allowing us to not only vote for one person, but for a particular party. It's a concept that is due in Canada.

So for no other reason, get out the vote.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Participate and Blog

Free Burma!

for a Free Burma.

For more information go to the Free Burma Blogsite

One Blog Post for Burma. October 4th.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cleveland 95 65 0.594 - - 07-Mar W1
Detroit 87 73 0.544 8 E 04-Jun L1
Minnesota 78 82 0.488 17 E 05-May L1
Chicago 71 89 0.444 24 E 06-Apr W3
Kansas City 68 92 0.425 27 E 03-Jul L3

So the season is coming to a close and the Beloved Tigers will not be making it to post-season play. Seems the slump they had in August did them in.

There has been a few articles on how last year's World Series participants aren't in the post season. It seems the St. Louis Cardinals had a worse season then the Tigers. But before you moan and groan, consider this:

The Tigers are only 9 games behind last years' pace. It's not so much they did poorly its just that the Cleveland Indians, from 78-84 to 95-69. That's as an impressive turn around as the Tigers had last year.

The good news, the Tigers are still strong and with the fact that Jim Leyland wants to return
to the team for the next couple of years means the Tigers will be contenders.

Friday, September 28, 2007

MLB - Florida Marlins/New York Mets Recap Friday September 28, 2007 - Yahoo! Sports

MLB - Florida Marlins/New York Mets Recap Friday September 28, 2007 - Yahoo! Sports

This is one of those Catch up on Baseball Blogs. So the Amazin' Mets are in the process of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. After having what some thought was an insurmoutable lead in the NL East have decided to go on a massive skid and have handed first place over to the Philadelphia Phillies.

What is even more interesting is the loss of first place puts them in a situation where they are unlikely even to make it into post-season play. That's what I call impressive. In fact the article quoted is using words such as "historic" to describe the melt-down. Seems that the Mets will be wearing the title of "Choke" unless they can turn it around in the next two games. Let's go Marlins.

Ubuntu 7.10 Beta Released

On the 27th of September, The people behind Ubuntu released to the general public the beta of Gutsy Gibbon. The final release is scheduled for October 18th. While there is warning on the page that this may not necessarily a stable release, it will give you a good idea what to expect with 7.10 when you download it on that, or perhaps a day or two later.

What is new? First of all, this is based upon Gnome 2.20, the latest manifestation of the desktop environment for Linux distributions. This release contains a number of features which enhance the experience for users. Second, there is a very nice desktop applet which can be used to search both the Internet and your computer for files and documents, plus websites.

It comes with the latest of both Firefox and Open Office to continue the productive nature of Ubuntu. Couple this with Thunderbird as both the calendar and Calendar you got quite a nice OS to do some serious work with.

With my computer, unfortunately I cannot used the enhanced desktop features which are based upon Compiz Fusion. I'm going to try it on the family computer to gain an appreciation of the working of it. From what I've seen of screenshots it is quite impressive and will give both Vista and Mac OSX a run. There is also a good screen configuration tool with the OS.

What has also impressed me is the fact that I can use my Canon IP3000 Printer as the network printer. Before I could never get the right drivers but now it is possible. It's great to send documents to be printed and watch them come out perfectly. The release notes also point out there is automatic configuration when a printer is plugged into the machine, I'll try that with my HP at a later time.

If you have already installed Ubuntu, you can go to Gutsy Upgrade Documentation for information on downloading and installing Gutsy on your computer. If you like to use betas this is a good way to begin an appreciation of this system. Otherwise you can wait another 3 weeks and download the finished product.

I plan to download it when it's available and until them I plan to do some exploring of the new release.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tonight, TigerNation is RedSox Fan

Lawrence Peter Berra, the great baseball philospher and NY Yankee catcher, who is best known as "Yogi", was quoted as saying "the two words that best describe baseball is 'anything can happen'". This describes the Tiger Season to this point. What a ride, what an incredible ride. We all thought last year was amazing and it was by the way, the worst team in baseball American League Champions. The Detroit Tigers fooled everyone and surprised all the long suffering fans with one of those great seasons. Of course when this year started, expectations were high. One difference between this year and last is everyone was waiting for the Tigers, they weren't going to fool anyone.

Things were going well, it looked like the Tigers were going to repeat as Champions or at least make the play-offs. It was going too good, even after the injuries of the early season, the loss of Kenny Rogers for the first three months, Joel Zumaya missing most of the season, only coming back in August and a number of other little injuries. Couple this with a bullpen that was either incredible or incredulous but they stayed at the top.

However August came and the Tigers had a very bad month, going 11-18 and falling out of first place in the Central. The month was so bad they fell out of any hope even for the wild-card.

Then comes September and as of this day, the Tigers have won 11 games, the same as all of August. They are also winning series again, something that they were incapable of in August. Right now the Tigers are clawing their way to the top of both the Central and the Wild Card, 2.0 games out of the latter and 4.5 out behind Cleveland.

Tonight, the hated and despised Yankees are in Boston to finish a series with Boston Red Sox and guess which team I'm cheering for? Tonight, Tigers could be 1.5 games out of the Wild Card.

I close with another quote from Yogi It ain't over 'til its over.

This is why we love baseball.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Canadian Press: CFL to allow fans to vote online for division and league all-star teams

The Canadian Press: CFL to allow fans to vote online for division and league all-star teams

This is a good idea. Anything that gets the fans interested in the league and the game.

Let's face it, the CFL is a good league, it competitive and entertaining, plus the players are not huge dorks, or wife beaters, or dog killers.

Support your local CFL franchise.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quantum Physics

As explained by the average house cat,

or should I say average Lolcat:


You have to keep up with advances in science after all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Something Interesting I found

One of the projects I've been working on is attempting to upgrade a computer I'm going to get my hands on. It's one that is in storage and is simple inventory. It's an XP machine and while is generally works and does a very good job, it is missing a few things. To give an example, the sound card seems not to work; even after downloading the proper drivers, there is still no sound.

This could have meant I would have had to purchase a sound card and do some installation, not that it's difficult, although the guess would have been if the machine had a PCI slot, or a regular one, and then there's the guessing.

Then, when just surfing through Ebay I came across a USB Sound Adaptor. It's works with the simple principle that it is a USB devise and so it is plug and play.

The price was very reasonable and even with the postage and handling a worthwhile investment.

Today the devise came:

The Specs are as follows:

PD552 has two jacks, one for headset, the other for microphone.
a. USB audio adapter
b. USB 1.1 and 2.0 compliant
c. USB bus-powered capability
d. 3D sound technology virtual 5.1-channel sound field
e. Hot plug-and-play USB interface, eliminates the need of a traditional sound card
f. Supports USB suspend/resume modes and remote wakeup
g. Apply advanced Xear 3D technology to the product, fully support many kinds of sound frequency such as MPG/DAT/AVI/MPG4/RM/MOV ect, and functions such as EAX1.0/2.0, HRTF, 3DX ect.
h. PD552---Virtual speaker shifter, freely set and switch the microphone mode or speaker mode
i. PD552---Record function by microphone; 16 rhythm modes for selection

I plugged it into the computer and waited for it to be found. Once that was done I plugged in headphones and fired up Windows Media Player. It worked quite well.

It is made by a company called Comodow . While not necessary I have downloaded the driver and will install it at a later time. I presume the drivers will allow for some of the special features mentioned in the specs, but for listening and also for using with a head microphone it works very well.

I also plan to install some speakers into it and see if that works as well. If it does then forget about the sound card, this will more then do.

Just something for your interest.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


No doubt Stephanie will have an articulate response to the events of last night, Barry Bonds hitting and therefore surpassing the Great Hank Aaron as Baseball's All-Time Home Run Hitter. I thought I'd be the first to post how the record should look, at asterisk denoting the fact that this record was helped by Performance Enhancing Drugs, allegedly.

Now consider and contrast the celebration of when Hank broke the Immortal Babe Ruth's record

Notice the joy that surrounded his trip around the bases. Now compare and contrast it with Barry Bond homerun

Perhaps this will be the final event in the era of baseball known as The Steroid Era. 1997-2007, when may of the hallowed records of baseball were broken by players who were juiced up on the cream and the clear.

Let us now begin the era of clean ball, when players went to the plate with nothing more in their system then bubblegum and sunflower seeds.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Any number that reduces to one when you take the sum of the square of its digits and continue iterating until it yields 1 is a happy number, any number that doesn't, isn't. A happy prime is both happy and prime. NOW TYPE IT IN! [turns to captain] I don't know, talk about dumbing down. Don't they teach recreational mathematics anymore?

It's been a month since I've done any blogging. I'm going to say it's part of the moving and adjusting to life in the new city of Brantford, or the fact I've done a fair bit of cycling. Been to a few places outside of Brantford and been traveling the bike trail in the city.

Well, it's Civic Holiday here and so I decided this is the day I would start doing some blogging.

Okay, I decided to watch this week's episode of Doctor Who. Again, because of the move I wasn't able to watch the first couple of episodes so I've had to do some catching up, and I've missed some of the arc. When I watched the name "42", I thought this should be a good episode because we all know what '42' means. We do all know what '42' means? The first person with the answer will get a gold star.

Turns out, it is not what I thought, in fact the number refers to the time left before something rather nasty happens.

It was a good episode, but I felt it was in some way a re-run of the ideas that were done in Series Two. Still it's a good one with some interesting arcs. Such as the end, when the people trying to trace Martha's cellphone call make reference to a Mr. Saxon. Now you can follow the link and learn all about it, or watch the rest of the series. Personally I look forward to seeing how this all works out and it should be a good thing.

Another thing, how does Martha's phone give such good reception, she never drops a call, she's plummeting towards a sun and she's still able to handle a conversation. Most of us lose the call when we walk indoors! Here's what should happen, the Doctor patents his work and takes over the global cellular market- take that Steve Jobs.

I think I'm going to have to go back and watch the previous episodes to get an idea of the entire series.

Just a few more thoughts:

Freeman Agyeman started the series by filling in some huge shoes, Billie Piper was a great companion. I've also learned she's leaving after only one series, although she will appear in series four, towards the end.

I decided to resubscribe to Whotopia, the Canadian Doctor Who Magazine, what made my decision was the cover article on Christopher Eccleston.

Holiday starts tomorrow.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Life in Brantford

I looked at the date of my last entry, May 30th. May 30th!!!! Has it been that long? Well, what with the packing and all that, things were quite hectic. Now that we are unpacked, I decided to take a few photographs so you can see at least our house.

To give the tour, the first is the front of the house, the second is our patio and the third is our backyard. The road at the back is Park. We are in the northern part of Brantford, in fact the sign welcoming people to Brantford is only a few metres north of the property line.

The house is a very pleasant side split with five bedrooms. Three are upstairs and two are downstairs. We have converted one of the downstairs bedroom into a library exercise room. The house has been tastefully decorated and very nice. The downstairs has a family room with a gas fireplace and I expect it will be well used when the colder weather comes.

The patio is a small area but quite suitable for sitting outside and enjoying the warm weather. There is a table with an umbrella so its nice to sit outside and listen to the radio or just relax.

Just before Jo-Anne and I, plus Theo and Eowyn left Essex, my family threw a 50th birthday party for me. It is the 14th of July but I wasn't going to be around. It was a good time and I did get a lot of gifts. With some of my gifts I decided it was time to buy another mountain bike. Now that I was moving to a larger centre, I thought it would be better to ride. My mountain bike is approximately 12 years old and while it has a lot of kilometres on it, Vancouver, Trenton, Niagara Falls and Essex, plus a few races, the Great Lake to Lake and Windsor Tri-Duathlon, it was time. So I went to the local SportChek to look at bikes, they were having a sale. After talking with a salesperson and listening to his recommendation, I bought a K2 ZedSPHT07 bike, and it is a beauty. The colour is blue and it is has 21 speeds.

It is a great ride and I've used it to discover Brantford.

There's a number of things to see in Brantford, but I'll save that for another blog.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Continuing the Theme of Pirates

What do you do if you combine scenes from Pirates of the Caribbeans plus the greatest Canadian song. EVER. WRITTEN.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

This being cheap Tuesday at the cinema, I decided to take my $4.20 and go see the third version of the Johnny Depp pirate franchise PIrates of the Caribbean: At World's End. To start off, let me say this is a satisfying way to end the trilogy, at least we think it's a trilogy. While some have complained that there is too much happening at once and some have said it may be a bit too long, don't bother with that, it's a great movie. It has everything we want, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow the swishiest pirate to ever sail the Seven Seas. There is Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann and of course Captain Hector Barbossa, back from the dead. As we know from the second movie, Jack was swallowed up by something nasty that was under the control of Davy Jones, the captain of the Flying Dutchman. Remember those nasties.

This movie does have everything, there is intrigue, convoluted plot, sea battles, cannon fire, cutlass and lots of all that we love about Pirate movies.

Spoiler Alert

Okay, here are the spoilers: Captain Jack is alive and yes some did rescue him just because he is he. He brings with him the Black Pearl. At the end, Will and Elizabeth get married, Captain Barbossa regains the Black Pearl and everything he wants, or so he thinks. Those two British soldiers, you know the one's from the first movie become pirates, like they should have and everybody lives happily ever after.
Right? Well, let's just say I've given to you about have the spoilers, there's a few things I missed out and you will just have to go and see the movie for yourself. There's all this and more. Plus we meet Captain Teague, who is played by Keith Richards. Captain Teague as we know is Captain Jack's father, what you don't hear about is the fact you get to meet Captain Jack's mother, well sort of.

Any movie that has all this, Keith Richards and a great soundtrack, is worth the time, money and popcorn.

One point, stay to the very end of the credits, there is a nice Easter Egg.

This movie does answer the question, which is cooler, Ninjas or Pirates.

Let me say, okay Ninjas may be cooler, but Pirates have way more fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monthly Ubuntu Post

You can catagorize this as my obligatory Ubuntu Blog because I know you are all interested in how the Ubuntu experience is going. I took a quiz that is supposed to help you decide on which Linux Distro would be suit your lifestyle. My result was Kubuntu which as we all know is the K Desktop Environment flavour of Ubuntu. Regular Ubuntu is as we know Gnome based but Kubuntu is KDE based. You would almost think I knew what I was talking about. The most recent addition to my Ubuntu experience was buying a printer which would work with Ubuntu. I had heard that HP is very supportive of Linux and I noticed that the Thrift Store had one available for $3.00. The HP Photosmart 7150, it is a discontinued machine but for the price what did I have to lose. So I plugged it in and mucked around with it for a few minutes. I put some newer paper in it and once I added it to my printer list I clicked on the 'test page' feature. It worked, it worked perfectly. I was able to print. I didn't have to download or install a driver in anyway in fact the first thing on the test sheet was the Ubuntu logo. This was great because I had complained about printing with Ubuntu, in fact if there is anything that would drive me back into the arms of Windows it would lack of printer support.

Believe it or not, I do have other things in my life besides Ubuntu; I took Kimberly and and her friend Rachel to a Renaissance Faire this past weekend. The local Medieval Society sponsored it and it was their first of hopefully annual event. It was small and the weather conspired against it but it was a good way to spend an hour or so. I did take a few pictures:

The last photograph is of Kim and Rachel. Kim is getting her comeuppance with the stockades.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Off to Gretzkyville

Stephanie mentioned it on her blog that we are moving and so I might as well write and confirm it. Yes we are on the moves from Essex to Brantford, the home of Wayne Gretzky.

Afte four years its time to pack up the house, stuff the Wired Magazines in a box, actually I plan to dispose my collection of Wired Magazines, probably like this generation's National Geographics and move on.

We haven't started to pack, that's the plan for this weekend. Got to start sometime.

I can say we have enjoyed ourselves in Essex, coming back to family. It's been good. The good news, we're not that much further, albeit 3 hours away.

More later.

Peace and Ubuntu

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Holiday Insights : Lost Sock Memorial Day

Holiday Insights : Lost Sock Memorial Day

This has to be one of the saddest holidays of the year, the day we mourn the loss of that one sock that always seems to be lost.

We all have a sock drawer filled with unmatched socks, as the webpage suggests. As hard as we try, we simply cannot find the mate for the missing sock, it has vanished. For some reason, the journey from laundry hamper to washer to dryer to drawer is a deadly one for a sock. I've heard different suggestions for this event, some have suggested the spinning of the dryer, the chemicals in the washing soap open up some sort of portal into a different dimension, some have called it the "Sock" Dimension. Or the same chemical reaction opens a worm hole to another part of our galaxy. So on the other side is a planet filled with unmatched socks that magically appear as ours disappear.

How do we celebrate this day? As it is a memorial, perhaps the lighting of a candle, in hope the missing sock returns. We are to search for it and when we can't find it, toss out the unmatched sock.

Sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Quick blog for the day. I'll have a big post later on.

Dr. Ron Paul gets it. He understand that mainstream media is the lapdog of the establishment. I know that sounds hippie talk, but it's true.

consider some of the media, how many outlets suppressed the news about Iraq or they marched in step with the White House, on such matters as 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'.

Dr. Paul gets it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Visit of General Shaw Clifton

A trip to Toronto came about to attend the first official visit of General Shaw Clifton. The afternoon event was Officers' Councils and so we gathered at Scarborough Citadel for a two hour meeting.

I should get to the main part of the meeting, which was Gen Clifton's message, which was based upon 2 Timothy 4:17 which reads:

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth

His premise was that with all we do, God stands with us. We don't face anything alone, but He is there for us.

He took time to go through the entire chapter. He encouraged us to keep to the Word and give it out, he said the idea of in season and out was the fact that preaching should take place even when a person doesn't want to.

He gave an interesting illustration, it dealt with a Salvationists with the name Brumpton. He was with the Royal Navy and was also a member of the Navy and Military League of The Salvation Army. He served abroad a ship that was attacked by a U-Boat. It turned out that Brumpton and another sailor survived the attack and were staying afloat with a small piece of wood. Both tried to share it, however Brumpton realized the other sailor was getting weaker so he said: "For me to die is Christ, for you to die is hell, get on the wood", Brumpton swam away and was never seen. Now it could be asked how did people know of this, it is because the other aailor went, after he was rescued, to the nearest Salvation Army Corps and shared the story.

He gave a good message.

If there was any problem it was the Power Point Presentation, what a surprise.

We are staying with The Oldford's.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Canonical Launches Latest Ubuntu Desktop 7.04 | Ubuntu

Canonical Launches Latest Ubuntu Desktop 7.04 | Ubuntu: "Canonical Launches Latest Ubuntu Desktop 7.04"

I am so ready for the 19th of April, the release date of Ubuntu 7.04, aka Feisty Fawn. I did download the beta a few weeks ago and have enjoyed exploring it on the desktop. What has been impressive is the Beryl desktop accelerator. All the photos and videos you may have seen of Beryl in action are true, it is impressive. I mean you have the cube, the various ways to close, just fantastic. As well, there has been a number of improvements to Ubuntu, such as easier install and some new applications. The blog "Only Ubuntu Linux" has a great review of the beta and from what I understand there won't be that many difference between it and the stable version.

Some of the other programs I've used is the disk usage analyzer. It gives a good picture of what is happening on the hard drive. Other things is the sticky notes and Tommy Boy.

The article gives this comment:
I really Like Ubuntu festy Fawn and this will be the best release ever from ubuntu development team.This includes lots of desktop features includes network manager, Easy-to-install codec wizards,migration assistant,Kernel Virtual Machine,desktop effects like Beryl or Compiz get a more prominent place and and many more in this wonderful operating system

I have to agree, that's why on the 19th I'm going to the terminal and type in sudo update-manager -c -d and letting the magic happen.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Apple TV, Geek Brief TV and MacFan

I am not a Macfan, I am certainly not Apple fanboy. I don't bow when I see the Apple icon show up on anything. I do like the iPod, in fact I'm enjoying my new Nano, read a previous blog for the reason of the Nano.

I was watching Episode 149 of Geek Brief TV. In this episode, Cali Lewis sings the praises of watching the new Apple TV. It is the new attempt by Apple to integrate the home theatre with the computer and wireless networking. On the whole it sounds like a marvellous idea and certainly what you can do with it is amazing. This is especially true with vidcasts. Cali opens by saying we are watching Geek Brief through Apple TV. The feature is you can sync and download podcasts and vidcasts to watch and enjoy on High Definition TV. There is a lot of good to that, the thought of watching Diggnation or as she had on, TikiBar TV. Again a great idea.

What therefore is my problem. Well, first its the attitude of Macfan, they worship anything with the apple icon on it and to that end, they are quick to either ignore, dismiss or justify some of the weaknesses of an Apple product. Cali talks about the fact that words such as simplicity and elegance can be used to speak of Apple TV, yet as you hear her talk, you realize there are some other words. As I watched the vidcast I came up with a list of seven problems that are simply mentioned or stated something that will be improved in later generations.

Here are some of the weaknesses, that aren't mentioned as weakness:

1) Price- $299.00US
2) No Power Button. So here you go, you just purchased your Apple TV. You bring it out of the box and realize

3) No Cables. You have to go back to BestBuy and purchase the cables, so add another $40-100 to the price. Once you return and get all the wires connected. You grab your manual, you stare at the devise and you ask yourself this important question

4) "Where's the Power Button". I mentioned this already but to quote Kryten, it's such a biggie, it's worth mentioning twice. Yes, the question you ask is, "how do I turn it on". Which will be followed by "How do I turn the stupid thing off?". To answer the latter, you push a little button on the remote to put it in 'sleep'. As for turning it on, I have no idea.

5) Okay, you justify the fact you can't turn it off, this leads to the next problem. It overheats. This is simply stated as it gets warm. So you have an always on fire hazard. Good marketing.

6) videos purchased from iTunes doesn't look all that good on the television. So what looks good on your computer monitor, doesn't look good on the TV. You can encode to make it look good, however if you're not a tech geek, this could be a drawback. I suppose there's always piracy.

7) Small HardDrive, it's only 30 gigs. Yes that's a lot of music and videos. But still, 30Gigs, how long will it take to fill up?

All in all, a devise that will have a good future, so long as it gets away from fanboy and fangirl in the present.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

As you know from reading

Stephanie's blog, she is on a mission trip to Mexico. Fortunately Edmonton Temple is featuring regular written updates, as well as photographs and videos of the experience. It's good to check up on how the work is progressing and if Stephanie is still doing well.

I laughed when I saw this photograph, Stephanie conversing with a pig.

The question is, what is she discussing with it. Is it:

a) why Pluto should not be considered a planet.
b) who's smarter, Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawkings


c) just why you can't teach general relativity to cats.

The answer, when she returns.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My New iPod

Last month my iPod Mini developed some problems the main one being I couldn't sync with the iTunes Music software. It happened suddenly and swiftly. After reading the information on the Apple iPod page, I came to the conclusion that this is a problem. So I dug out my warrenty and went to theBestBuy store. They took it and told me they had 60 days to repair the problem or replace. This was in February.

Just a few days ago, I got a phone from the store. They came to the conclusion that it was far more expensive to repair the problem then to replace it. I was invited back to consider a new iPod, and my choice was the 4Gig iPod Nano. I stuck with my favourite colour and so I went for the blue.

It's quite an impressive little devise, smaller and thiner then my Mini, in fact when I first saw them I wondered if I would lose it. The screen is colour and one of the features is that music downloaded from the Store will show the album cover when the song is played. It also has a picture viewer but I haven't used that yet. It's nice to have the iPod back, even if it is a new one.

One plan for my new iPod is to discover if I can use it with Ubuntu. According to an article in Linux Journal it is possible to use the iPod with Ubuntu. I will do some more reading of that article and a few more to learn how it happens. I know I have some of the software installed on my laptop.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sally Ann, the Thrift Store Cat

A few people noticed the cat in the photograph of the employees of the Essex Thrift Store. Yes we do have a cat as mascot, manager, princess of the place. She came in as a stray one cold and wet November and never left. The staff placed a sign in the window asking the owner to claim her, but none came forward. Since then she has endeared herself to all who enter the store.

When the store moved location, the cat had to come. She has adopted to the new location very well, finding her favourite spot to rest after a hard day of running the operations. Her spot is a laundry basket of knitting that is just the right place for her.

I'm sure there will be more stories about Sally in the upcoming months

Monday, March 12, 2007

World must protect Darfur civilians from war crimes: UN

The last time I blogged about the situation in Darfur it was to announce there was a cease-fire in effect. Since that time the situation seems to have been quiet or at least not visible.

However, a team from the UN, sent to observe the situation in the Darfur region has come back with this report:
The team, headed by Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, said Sudan's government "has manifestly failed to protect the population of Darfur from large-scale international crimes, and has itself orchestrated and participated in these crimes."

With over 200,000 deaths and over 2.6 million people as refugees it is incumbent on us to continue to keep aware of what is happening. So long as the darkness of ignorance, indifference exists, these horrors will continue.

So what next? Visit the Embassy of Sudan website and read information concerning the Darfur Peace Accord. After that, write to the embassy and request the government not only live up to these obligations but deal with those who have engaged in crimes against humanity. So long as pressure exists, the government will change their strategies. When they recognize that it is a powerful issue, we can see a difference.

William Booth once said this:

While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight-I'll fight to the very end!

These words are still applicable but now we can extend to the entire globe. Where there is crimes against other humans, we must fight.

Remember to pray for peace in Darfur.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nerd Test Time

I went to the NerdTests site and did the quiz.

My results are:

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!
Go ahead, take the quiz. Let me know your score.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Joshua Tree

This weekend is the 20th anniversary of the release of The Joshua Tree by U2. It truly is a great album and I do use that word because that's how it was released in 1987. I believe it was released in all three formats, vinyl, cassette and that new method Compact Disc. The latter was this new method that was supposed to replace albums. It was small and shiny and supposed to last nearly forever, as long as it didn't get scratched.

This is what Wikipedia mentions about the album:

The Joshua Tree is not only widely considered one of the band's best albums, it is often considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded. In 1989, it was rated #3 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, as well as appearing at #26 on the magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The Joshua Tree was selected as #6 on CCM Magazine's 2001 list of the greatest Contemporary Christian music albums of all time (see CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music). It came second place in Channel 4's 100 Greatest albums. It came in at #10 in ABC-TV's My Favourite Album, which aired in Australia in December 2006.

The album has sold over 10 million copies in the United States alone and remains the band's best-selling album. It was followed by the successful worldwide Joshua Tree Tour.

The videos "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" (directed by Meiert Avis) and "I Still Haven't Found what I'm Looking For" (directed by Barry Devlin) saturated MTV, making the band much more visible to both casual music listeners and fans.

It is truly a great album. I plan to listen to it this weekend.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Thrift Store is Officially Open

We officially opened the new Thrift Store in Essex today. We've been opened on the new location since the beginning of the month, but today we had the local VIP's plus a few from DHQ down to cut the ribbon.

The picture is the staff and volunteers of the Store. I wanted one picture of the group and yes that is a cat in the photograph. We do have a cat, her name is Sally Ann and she is going to get fixed.

A great bunch of people who worked very hard to make this day happen.

Thanks all.

Monday, February 19, 2007

>Finally, Skiing

I have always enjoyed Cross- country skiing. I enjoy getting out along a trail, especially if that trail runs through the woods and just skiing. It's great just to get out there and listening to nature and seeing what there is to see.

X-country skiing has a lot going for it, the physical exertion, the challenge of using the body as the means of transportation, plus breathing deeply all that great cold air. Every moment I spent on skies has been a fabulous one.

As I blogged a few days ago, we finally got a good snowstorm and with the temperature remaining cold I figured this was the weekend to get out. Which is precisely what I did. I found my skies, which I haven't used in two years, lousy mild winter (grumble, grumble), and found a good place to ski.

Fortunately ERCA has established a greenbelt through the county. The Chrysler Canada Greenway is down one of the county roads and that was where I headed.

It started out snowing, but the clouds parted and the sun came out. I saw a number of birds, such as finches, cardinals, hawks and I think a couple of eagles. It was simply a glorious afternoon to go skiing

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Kung Hei Fat Choi!

to all those who are celebrating the Year of the Pig, may it be a prosperous and blessed new year.

To understand Chinese New Year:

The Lunar New Year dates from 2600 BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. On the Chinese calendar, 2007 is Lunar Year 4704-4705. On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on February 18, 2007 — The Year of the Pig.

If you were born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995 - you were born under the sign of the pig. Like the pig, you are highly regarded for your chilvary and pureness of heart, and you often make friends for life. For pigs in 2007, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome so look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

As you know from reading my blog, I am a big fan of the New Doctor Who program. I am also a fan of classic rock.

I was searching for "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" videos I came across this little gem.

Yes, a video that features cuts from the first two seasons and BOC's signature song.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Winter comes to Essex County,

We've had the cold temperatures now we've got the snow. That's right the first large snowfall of the season hit yesterday and winter made up for the delay.

These photographs were taken around the house. Looks like I'll be doing some cross country skiing this weekend.

All photographs taken with my Virgin Mobile cellular phone.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Music industry wants copy surcharge on MP3 players

You know, just this morning I woke and said to myself: Self, you've not written anything negative about the Recording Association in ages. Well, actually I didn't, but it's true, the RIAA and the Canadian equivalent the CRIA have been behaving rather well. Yes the lawsuits are probably still flying but at least their not going after grandparents who don't even own a computer. I think some of the court decisions have been going badly as of late.

Still they have been good, then I open up my paper to day and read the above article. It seems a group in Canada, the CPCC want to revisit a dead issue, they want to have a levy put on all MP3 players. Now to give you some background and you can read the article, but still let me tell you aabout it. Two years ago there was a major push by the Recording Industry to have a levy placed on mp3 players, such as the iPod. The contention of the group is that the devices are recordings, such as blank media of which there is already a levy. In other words, the mp3 player is the media and not a devise for playing media such as music or videos. If that is the case then they demand a levy be placed on these devises. They also, I believe, at the time tried to get a levy on hard drives, since people download music onto them, those nasty consumers.

At the time, a Court ruled that such players are not under the jurisdiction of the Copyright Board and they could not impose a levy. I suggest you read the article to gain an understanding into the issue. If you open it to your PDF reader, you will find the salient remarks on page 39 and 40. Needless to say, there are people who want it revisited.

All this begs the question, what has changed in two years? The answer, nothing. MP3 players are still players, they are not the media or medium they play what is recorded on them, much as a CD player plays what is recorded on the disc that is inserted. They are a device for listening to music, certainly you download or burn music from CD's that have been purchased, but they are not media.

We have to keep an eye on this.

I'll keep you informed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

By almost three-to-one, Canadians say anti-Dion Tory ads are unfair: poll

Just read my pre-SuperBowl blog regarding the ridiculous attack ads the Conservative Party of Canada ran against the Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion. As you know from reading various blogs I am not a fan of the Liberal Party, but come on Conservatives. Let me introduce you a fascinating concept, this is not the 1990's. Yes I know there are still a number of attack ads each and every election but you want to know something, people are sick of them. You want to do something positive, then deal with issues not personalities.

The result of polls is this, 3 to 1 hated the advertisement, that works out to 75% of people who saw the ad thought it was unfair. That means there were a whole lot of potential voters who will not be impressed with anything else you do during the next election campaign.

Can I make a suggestion for all the major parties, knock off the attack ads. Honestly, it just makes you look stupid. How about spending all your advertising dollars on a campaign that will centre on issues and not what you personally think of someone else.

Just a thought.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New Social Justice Commission

Just the past week, the General of The Salvation Army, Shaw Clifton announced the establishment of an International Social Justice Commission. The purpose of this Commission will be:
* The director will lead a small team of full-time specialists, all committed Salvationists.
* The commission will be a permanent, standing body.
* A panel of expert international consultants will be created.
* The director and staff will be the Army’s principal international advocate and adviser on social, economic and political issues and events giving rise to the perpetuation of social injustice in the world. They will assist the Army in addressing social injustice in a systematic, measured, proactive and Christian manner, consistent with the purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army.
* The commission will advise the General and other senior leaders at IHQ in matters of social justice.
* It will absorb and extend the current work of the Moral and Social Issues desk at IHQ, re-introducing an International Moral and Social Issues Council (IMASIC).
* The commission will expand and develop the Army’s role and influence within the United Nations, supervising and coordinating the work now being done in New York, Vienna and Geneva.
* It will place on a more systematic and effective basis the role of the Army in relation to other major world forums, advising the General on representation therein.
* The commission will liaise regularly with territorial and other Army groups engaged in social justice advocacy, seeking to ensure a coordinated approach and offering encouragement and guidance.
* It will liaise with territories and commands where as yet little is being done in relation to issues of social justice, seeking to find ways in which such a role can be undertaken by the Army in the local setting.

It's first Commissioner will be Commissioner Christine MacMillan. The Office will be established in New York City, with the purpose of giving the Army a voice before the United Nation. Certainly the time is now for a unique Christian world view to be presented before this august body. As well Commissioner MacMillan brings both a unique Canadian and world view of social Justice. As you can read in her bio, she has served extensively in the third world and so she does know first hand the social justice issues facing the third world.

She will do a good job.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why I'm Glad I have A Satellite Dish

The National Post ran this article. Seems the governing Conservative Party has decided to buy time to run a few attack ads on the Liberals. So instead of watching the GoDaddy advertisement featuring Kevin Rose and Alexander Albrecht you will watch some ridiculous ad on how bad Stephane Dion is as a leader.

This is so sad, do you really want to have your enjoyment of a game interrupted by some stupid sleazy political ad? This reveals that the Conservatives are no different the than Liberals because given a chance it's the same old same old. Here's the thing, they want to attack him, then wait for an election, not during a football game.

I truly believe we should write to the Conservative Partyor if your local MP is a Conservative, to them and tell them we don't want the gutter. This is nonsense and they should be told off.

Fortunately, Starchoice runs the American channels without sticking in the stupid Canadian ads.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Three Special Birthdays

This being January 25th, I want to mention there are three special birthdays on today.
The first is the great Scottish Poet Robert Burns. Throughout the land people will gather to celebrate this special day with the singing of songs, the recitation of poetry and the eating of Haggis. To make sure it is celebrated correctly, let us all stand and recite his great poem, Address to a Haggis:

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my airm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An cut you up wi ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like onie ditch;
And then, Oh what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that ower his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
Oh how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

If that was not enough of an honour for one day, there are two more who celebrate their birthday, and that is Kimberly and Katrina. So, Happy Birthday girls, have a great day today. Celebrate, but not too much.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Great Bear Rainforest Protected

This is very good news.

The Great Bear Rainforest is going to receive protection. A marvelous part of British Columbia and Canada will be preserved for future generations to explore and enjoy. We need more pristine forests protected, they are the front lines against Global Warming.

You can read more about the settlement here.

I want all of you to write to the government and encourage them to protect Canada's wilderness. Thank them for this and remind them that the environment is important because it affects us all.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

These pictures are videosnaps from the movie/documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It is based upon the book and lecture the former VP of the United States Al Gore has been given on the issue of Global Warming. I know there are some people who scoff at such an idea, they say and I've heard some of them that the world is so big and we are so small. This is true but Mr. Gore points out where we are having the greatest impact is the smallest part of the planet's ecosystem and that is the atmosphere. We are dumping an incredible amount of waste into the air we breathe and its having the greatest affect on ourselves and the climate.

Global Warming is the reality and we are seeing it in places such as Essex County, the Arctic and the Antarctic. The Icefield is melting and the effects could be catastrophic, impacting both wildlife and us.

It is a fascinating movie, one that is developing a fair bit of controversy, including attacks by the Competitive Enterprise Institute a right-wing think tank that believes in things like not helping sick people acquire medication and other acts of compassion. Also, President George Bush was asked if he would watch the movie, his response was 'doubt it'.

The movie has inspired parody including one called Al Gore's Penguin Army. It was featured on YouTube and was supposed to have been made by a 29 year old living in Beverly Hills. However some investigating has discovered it was made by a PR firm with ties to the Republican Party and a number of Oil Companies. It features Al Gore, looking like "The Penguin" from the Batman movies and has him leading an army of Tux, the mascot of the Linux Operating System. Of course because it comes from Big Oil, its total nonsense, let's recall some of the PR spin that occurred after the Exxon Valdez.

I want to encourage you to find and watch the movie and consider doing research. If he is true, we need to do something.

For too long we've done evil, now it's time for us to do good.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cease Fire in Darfur

I just received this email:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson just released a joint statement with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir that, if implemented, would bring some immediate security and relief to the people of Darfur as well as provide a clear path forward to long-term peace in the region.

We asked Governor Richardson to travel to Sudan to discuss ways to secure peace in Darfur and to end the genocide. The Governor was accompanied by Save Darfur Senior International Coordinator Ambassador (ret.) Lawrence Rossin, Refugees International Executive Director Kenneth Bacon, and Public and International Law and Policy Group senior attorney Amjad Atallah. Since Sunday, when they arrived in Khartoum, Governor Richardson and the delegation have visited Darfur and participated in a variety of meetings with government officials, rebel leaders, humanitarian officials, AU commanders and UN officials.

The promises from President Bashir in this agreement are encouraging. They include commitments to:

* A 60-day ceasefire with an international peace summit to be held before March 15, 2007.
* Sudan's cooperation to work with the African Union and United Nations on the deployment of a hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur.
* Ensuring "zero tolerance" policies for gender-based violence in Darfur.
* Free access for humanitarian aid workers and journalists.

This is excellent news. Perhaps not peace but its a start. If you want to read the full press release, go to here.

It recognizes there needs to be a free flow of aid to the region and the end of violence to the people of the Darfur.

Now before we all celebrate, remember Darfur.

Keep the pressure on the government of the Sudan and the United Nations to ensure the cease-fire is implemented and kept intact. As I said it's a start and it can be the start of something positive finally coming to the region.